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suffocated, his coat and hair singed and scorched. In the mean. time the house is in a blaze; the officer and his men stand still by their dangerous charge, waiting with steady discipline till their duty is done.
At length an eddy of wind carries some burning shingles to their feet, the sergeant seizes one, the fuze is lighted, and now they run for their lives up the deserted street. Through the roar of the wind and flames comes the crash of the bursting walls, and the roof is blown to pieces in the air.
At this point the fire is conquered, but further down it spreads widely. More powder is brought, more houses blown up, some uselessly, for at the same time falling sparks have fired buildings far behind them. At length, by twelve successive explosions, a line of gaps is made at some distance from the fire: by this the communication with the suburb of St. Louis is cut off. In firing one of the charges, a man who had been repeatedly warned to stand clear, was killed from neglecting the caution. Every now and then through the night, the loud roar of these explosions rose above all the clamor. At eight o'clock in the morning the fire was got under, but not till it had exhausted itself to leeward by having consumed everything that it encountered.
The sunrise that day had a strange and dismal effect; the light over the distant hills appeared pale and livid, scarcely seen indeed in the blaze from the ruins of Quebec.
Soon after day-break, a heavy rain began to fall, drenching the groups of unfortunates who were lying on the glacis and in the fields near the town, shelterless and exhausted. Many of these had been burned out the month before, and had since been living in the sheds and outhouses of the suburb of St. John, till the fire of last night deprived them of even that resource. A few had still on the gay dresses they had worn in some social circle when the alarm began, now wet and torn-tender women who perhaps had never known what hardship was before; men accustoined to ease and comfort: the sun which set on their prosperity rose upon their ruin.
Then was the open hand of charity held out ; every remaining house became a hospital ; clothes, food, and shelter seemed almost common property. Once again, those who had least suffered came forward with a generosity only limited by the power to give. Provisions and clothes were again distributed by the authorities; two hundred tents were pitched; one of the barracks and several other public buildings were thrown open. Some of the insurance companies proved still able to meet their liabilities, others paid all they had and broke. The city of Montreal, with ready liberality, subscribed thirteen thousand pounds; other places in the Bri. tish provinces also gave their aid. But the great hope of the sufferers was in that land where the tale of distress is never told in vain, and they were not disappointed-England did not forget her afflicted children in the New World; with splendid liberality she answered their appeal. By the desire of the Queen a collection was made in every parish church throughout the land. Private subscriptions were raised in various places; the imperial parliament voted a sum for the same object ; large quantities of blankets and clothing were immediately sent out—altogether, in money upwards of one hundred thousand pounds, and at least thirty thousand pounds' worth of goods.
There were naturally very strong suspicions that this second fire had been the work of an incendiary. As it occurred in the night on which it was foretold, and commenced in one of the very last houses that escaped the first time, to windward of the extensive and inflammable suburb of St. John, there was every appear. ance of design. Inquiry was diligently made, and all suspicious strangers were examined, but at length it transpired that it had originated in the carelessness of a stupid maid servant, who cast some ashes in a pit where a little straw and shavings of wood had been lately thrown; fire enough remained in the ashes to ignite these. As they were under the wall of a wooden house, the flames had taken such hold before the alarm was given, that it was impossible to get them under : the stupid cause of the calamity was fast asleep, and the last person in the house to know the danger.
A committee was formed immediately of the most influential people of the city, representing the different religious persuasions of the sufferers. Through the clergy, relief in money, food, and clothes was distributed ; and, with a view to the proper disposal of the remainder of the great sums raised by subscription, by the Church of England, and elsewhere, the gentlemen of this com
mittee with untiring zeal sought out and obtained the fullest infor. mation as to the extent and proportions of the losses. It was found that in these fires sixteen thousand people were burned out, nearly all of the poorer classes ; five hundred and sixty thousand pounds worth of property was destroyed; and twenty-seven charred and mutilated corpses were found among the ruins : it is supposed, however, that many more lives were lost, for of strangers, or where a whole family was burnt, there was no record ; and in many places the strength of the flames would have destroyed all trace of the human form.
Quebec soon took courage again: before the end of the summer a considerable number of houses were rebuilt, much better than those destroyed, and the streets were widened and improved ; hundreds of temporary wooden sheds have also been erected, but by law they must be removed in eighteen months. There is no doubt that the great calamity, with its large amount of present suffering, will be an ultimate advantage to this beautiful city.
FAREWELL Quebec. The midsummer sun pours down its flood of golden light upon these scenes of beauty. As it falls on earth and water, a soft spray of luminous mist rises over the wide land. scape. Above the clear pure air dances and quivers in the glorious warmth ; the graceful lines of distant hills seem to undulate with a gently tremulous motion. The broad river is charmed to rest, not even a dimple on its placid surface; no breath of air stirs through the dark forests, the silken leaves hang motionless.
The grateful fields, freed from their wintry chains, are clothed with rich crops, already blushing into ripeness. Man fills the calm air with sounds of prosperous activity; axes and hammers echo from the dockyards, ropes creak in the blocks as the bales of merchandize are lifted to the crowded wharves. The buzz of many voices rises from the busy markets; wheels rattle, and hur. rying hoofs ring on the pavement; the town is a great hive of thriving industry; the hundreds of ships alongside, the bees which bear the honey of many a distant land to fill its stores.
This is the day—this is the year to see Quebec; a day of unsurpassed beauty—a year of matchless prosperity. May the day of beauty have no evening, the year of prosperity never a winter! This midsummer's noon is not warmer than the hearts of her people—not more genial than their kindness. Farewell Quebec. The lone stranger, who came scarcely a year ago, leaves many a valued friend behind, carries with him many a grateful memory. And, when again by his English fireside, his thoughts will often wander back to happy hours passed among the snows of distant Canada.
I have arranged to go by the Montreal steamer at five o'clock in the afternoon. The day soon passes away in parting visits ; they seem very hurried. There is not half time to hear or say all the kind things, or to dwell long enough on the hearty pressure of the hand, when you know that in the probability of the future, those voices will never sound in your ear again, and that you are to feel the friendly grasp no more. It was very good of those people to come down to see me start, but I had been much better pleased had they stayed away.
The bell rings, they hasten off the deck on to the wharf; again a hurried “ good bye;" the paddle wheels make a few strokes backwards to gain an opening, then turn ahead, bite deep into the water, and we glide rapidly on. As we pass the wharf, those friends wave their hands, I do so too ; we are quite close, but somehow my eyes are a little dim, I can scarcely distinguish them as they run along the end of the quay, keeping pace with us up to the very edge. Our hands wave once again for the last time—I cannot see a bit now. When my sight cleared we were out in the middle of the broad stream, the people on the shore but tiny specks in the distance.
In describing one American river steam-boat you describe all. The greater part of the engines is above the level of the water; two large arms labor up and down over each side of the upper deck, while a funnel from near each paddle-box puffs out the smoke. They are not fitted with masts for inland navigation, the sleeping and eating saloon is in the body of the boat; the ladies' cabin, the state-room, with the bar, ticket office, &c., are in a sort of upper story erected on the deck, their roof being the promenade. These vessels are beautifully built, and go through the water with great rapidity ; fifteen or sixteen miles an hour is not uncommon; they are also comfortable and very well managed, those between Quebec and Montreal are not surpassed by any in America.
We pass Wolfe's Cove, rich in undying memories; beyond it, green slopes, gentle woodlands and neat country-houses, each recalling to recollection some pleasant ride or drive, or social evening; on the left the Chaudière river, dwindled into a tiny stream under the summer's sun, its rustic bridge, and rocky pine.fringed banks; on the right Cape Rouge, the end of the bold table-land on which stands the great citadel of the west. Beyond it, stretches